Sr. Catherine Ryan, F.S.P.

February 12, 1931August 16, 2018

Sr. Catherine Ryan, F.S.P. (formerly Sr. Mary Thomas), 87, died on Thursday August 16, 2018 at Cabrini of Westchester.

She was born on February 12, 1931 in New York City to Thomas and Mary Waldron Ryan where she was raised and educated graduating from Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Grammar School and Cathedral High School. She received a BA in History from Ladycliff College in Highland Falls and a MA in Theology from Manhattan College. Sr. Catherine entered into the religious community on September 8, 1949, professed her first vows on July 7, 1951 and her final vows on July 7, 1956. Her assignments included Senior Child Care Worker at St. Joseph’s Home in Peekskill, teaching at St. Rita’s School in Philadelphia, St. Joseph’s High School in NYC; Immaculate Conception in Irvington (Principal), Ladycliff College in Highland Falls (Dean of Studies), Holy Name of Jesus, Croton on Hudson (Director of Religious Education), Archdiocese of NY Catechetical Office (Director of Diocesan Programs/Regional Director for West Manhattan, Harlem and the East Bronx). Her awards included Archdiocesan Good Shepherd Award for outstanding leadership, compassion and dedication and the Fordham University Sapientia et Doctrina Award for service to the renewal of the Church. She was also honored as one of the founders of the New York Archdiocesan Catechetical Office in 1983 and thirty years of service as Regional Director. Survivors include a brother, Edward Ryan and his wife Ann of Providence, RI, two nephews, Dr. Edward Ryan of Boston, MA and Thomas Ryan of Los Angeles, Ca. and three nieces, Dr. Sharon Ryan of New Brunswick, NJ, Ann Ryan-Dwyer of Brooklyn and Lisa Fugger of Ohio and nine grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Visiting hours will be at the Marian Woods Convent, Hartsdale on Monday 3-7pm with a Vigil Service at 6pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Marian Woods Convent on Tuesday August 21st at 10am. Interment will follow immediately at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Whalen & Ball Funeral Home 168 Park Ave. Yonkers, N.Y. 10703 (914)965-5488


  • Visitation Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Vigil Service Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, August 21, 2018
  • Interment Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sr. Catherine Ryan, F.S.P.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rosemary Grant

November 23, 2018

S. Catherine was my Dean of Studies at Ladycliff, 1971-1975. I had the brains and the scholarships, but no family support: she made it possible for me to stay and, without her, my life’s path would have far more difficult and painful. She truly was “the wind beneath my wings” and was both exceptionally kind and extraordinarily wise -- I was honored that this lovely woman stayed in contact with me for decades after my graduation.
I send my sympathies to her family and friends.

Margaret Flanagan

August 24, 2018

I was a Coordinator of Religious Education for Most Holy Redeemer Parish in the lower East Side of Manhattan for 7 years, and Sr. Catherine and all the team at 1011 were a huge support for all of us. She took over as Regional Director after Sr. Marie Elena Dio, SC, started working at the UN, and had even more to do to help us. When I stopped running the Religious Ed. program at my parish, I went to the Pax Christi Metro New York Good Friday Way of the Cross, and there she was, too. I felt like it was a sign that I was moving in the right direction. Whenever my parish needed help in getting another Director or Coordinator, I referred them to Sr. Catherine and she was able to assist.
I am sorry I missed hearing about her passing, but I know we have another saint to watch over us!

Jeannette Forcina

August 22, 2018

So sorry to hear of Sister Thomas's passing. My deepest sympathy to her family.
I'm just another one of her First Grade students from St. Rita's School. We all loved her dearly and really enjoyed her coming to Philadelphia to see us in good and bad times and will really miss her. I was so glad we were able to give her a surprise retirement party.
I remember her jumping rope with us in the school yard and just having a good time with us when we were students later in 5th and 6th grades and also meeting her at the shore on the boardwalk. So glad we had her for our class gatherings. They were so enjoyable with her.

My prayers have been and will be for her always.
Jeannette Forcina

Toni Rochow

August 22, 2018

To all of sister's family
I was very saddened to hear of sister Thomas's passing. I will always remember her as sister Thomas my 1st 5th & 6rh grade teacher. We were very fortunate to remain friends with her, thank you Tom for that. It was always nice to spend time with her & for all of us to reflect back to our grade school years. My memories of her will stay with me forever. And to her family, my prayers & thoughts are with you.
Toni Autodore Rochow

Susan Cardillo

August 22, 2018

I an so glad that I got to see Sister less than 2 years ago. She was a wonderful teacher and a fantastic person. She taught me at St Rita's school in So Philadelphia for 3 years.My sincerest prayers and condolences to all her family,friends and especially her students.Fod rest her soul.😥😥🙏🙏💔💔💔

Thomas Malatesta

August 22, 2018

First, let me begin by sending my deepest condolences to Sister's family.
For me, it has been an honor to have had Sister Mary Thomas ( as I will always remember her) in my life since 1952 when she came to replace an elderly Sister to teach a first grade class of 106 students at Saint Rita's School in Phila. I can still see this beautiful young nun standing on the steps of the school waiting for us to follow her into the building. We , as well as our parents, came to realize that she was as beautiful and kind on the inside as she was on the outside. She was THE perfect nun. How she handled 106 first graders teaching them to read, print and write is a testament to her marvelous talent as a teacher. She was only 21 and we LOVED her! Fortunately, for our class, she taught us not only in the first grade but also in the 5th and 6th as well. How lucky could we get!!! Fortunately, for me, she remained a friend - more like family - for the remainder of her life. I always felt like she was an angel in my life. She was there for me for the good times as well as the bad. I am so very happy now that I was able to speak with her less than 2 weeks ago when I was told that she was in St. Cabrini. It just saddens me that I was not able to see her one more time as I told her we would be visiting in September.
So, it came as quite a shock today when I heard of her passing.
She will be greatly missed! May she rest in peace!!
If someone from her family reads this, can you be so kind as to e-mail me at
With deepest sympathy,
Tom, Debbie and Christian Malatesta

Lori Melton

August 22, 2018

My Sincere Condolences to the family

We thank Sr. Ryan for her leadership and support to the Parish of St. Charles Borromeo, Resurrection and All Saints Church in Harlem, New York. Sr. Ryan made herself available to provide guidance to our Religious Ed program. I can still picture her sitting in our church pew observing our rehearsal for First Holy Communion and complimenting the Catechist of the Sacrament Classes and the Director of the Religious Ed program Dr. Marlene Klyvert after rehearsal. If we had any questions Sr. Ryan was a phone call away. I am honored that I had the privilege to be a Catechist under the leadership of Sr. Ryan. I am now a Religious Ed Coordinator and Sr. Ryan's name will be remembered as part of my Religious Education growth as a Catechist.

fjohn reinke (mc1968)

August 17, 2018

The Manhattan College alumni community shares the grief, and is now praying for our fellow alumni and the family at this time. The Alumni Office has been informed. As well as the Jasper Jottings community that I personally can reach. We are all a little poorer now. "No man is an island, entire of itself ... any manʼs death diminishes me". We are sorry for your loss.